The Honda City has been one of Go Flat Out’s top picks for the subcompact sedan segment since this generation’s release in 2014. Three years on, and a facelift is in need in order to keep this innovative subcompact sedan on top of the food chain. Is the facelifted 2018 Honda City still relevant? Let’s find out by reading Go Flat Out’s review, and if you are interested in the 2018 Honda City, read on to find out how you could get yourself a great deal on this Honda City.
3 years has done justice to the City’s design. It still looks great and the design has aged quite well. The grille has been revised to now incorporate the Honda Civic’s handsome Solid Wing Face grille, and the multi-reflector halogen headlights are now equipped with LED daytime running lights as standard on all variants. VX+ trims, however, get full LED lighting, including the foglamps. More changes have been made at the rear, where it now incorporates a black trim piece across the rear bumper with a mesh pattern, joining the slimmer red reflector lights. Rounding up the facelift are a couple of new, sharper alloy wheel designs, 16-inches in the case of this VX variant. The facelift has made the Honda City as much more modern and handsome vehicle than ever before, with a sporty yet contemporary design for 2018.
Changes in the interior, however, are less noticeable. A game of spot the difference would be in play here, literally, because from where I’m sitting, it looks like only the white gauges and the push button starter design has been changes. It’s not entirely a bad thing, though. The City’s interior is well designed to be spacious and practical for its size, and with the addition of a pulsating push button starter borrowed from the Honda Civic, the City’s “cool factor” has been elevated. The gauges, now illuminated in white, look cleaner and less tacky than the blue illumination from the pre-facelift City.
Space and Practicality
The City carries on its spacious interior, with a generous amount of head and legroom in the rear seats even for adults. Two adults across would be fine, but having three adults might mean they would be asking each other for a bit of shoulder room. The two power outlets at the back remain, one of my favorite features in a car, as it keeps the rear passengers’ smartphones happily charged when they want to. The glove box is of a large size, fitting things like a large water bottle, while a large trunk will ensure that a family’s or barkada’s worth of shopping will all fit in the back. As a bonus, it still has a full-size spare wheel, something that’s becoming rarer nowadays.
The Honda City has been known for its bountiful of features, and this 2018 model is no exception. A touch screen infotainment system is standard on all but the entry-level 1.5 E MT variant, and the infotainment system is controlled by what Honda calls a “cube” interface. Now I don’t know what that’s supposed to mean, but all I know is the touch response of the screen is decent, the graphics of the user interface look crisp enough, and the infotainment system is a lot more intuitive to us than the buggy and crashy AVT-based touch screen systems out there in most Philippine-market cars. Bluetooth with MirrorLink and Miracast is standard, including navigation with good looking maps. A multi-angle back-up camera should keep things in check when reversing, and the touch panel climate control keeps the interior climate maintained to its set temperature.
Engine and transmission choices for the 2018 model year are unchanged, still utilizing the 1.5 liter L15A i-VTEC engine that produces 120 hp @ 6,600 rpm, and 145 Nm of torque @ 4,800 rpm. Transmission choices remain the same, with this VX variant mated solely to Honda’s Earth Dreams CVT with a 7-Speed manual mode, propelling the front wheels.
How It Drives
The Honda City has always proved to be a great all rounder, providing a great balance between comfort and sport. The steering, while there’s little feedback to talk about, is precise enough for spirited driving, telling the driver what the front wheels are doing and where it’s pointing to. The chassis is well balanced, though with a non-independent torsion beam rear suspension, smaller bumps does upset its ride somewhat when cruising at a slower pace. The ride gets better as you speed up. This kind of suspension set up translates to a car with its body control kept in check, avoiding too much sloppiness during cornering when you want it to treat it like a sports sedan. Don’t get to carried away though. This is no Civic Type R, and its limits are far easier to reach than the said hot hatch. Keep your expectations realistic, and the City is still one of the best driving subcompacts in the class.
Out on the open highway, the Honda City’s driving manners are still unchanged, meaning it is still the refined subcompact sedan that I’ve gone accustomed to, with good wind and road noise isolation. Subcompacts, apart from the Volkswagen Polo and Ford Fiesta, aren’t really known for its refinement, and the City manages to feel like those European designed vehicles in terms of stability and refinement.
Fuel economy remains to be a City strong point, averaging in the high 9s to 10 km/l combined city and highway driving. It must be noted, however, that this City is in its break in period, having less than 500 km in its odometer when the vehicle was handed to us, so for better reference, check out out review of the pre-facelift 2014 Honda City VX Modulo Aero Sports.
On The Downside
When the 2014 Honda City VX came out, I had a hard time pointing out any legitimate bad points towards the car, and it’s probably the case even in this 2018 model. Being extremely nitpicky now, the slim air vents at the center of the dashboard might have a harder time cooling the rear occupants. Now that it’s 2018, and the Honda City VX now has a higher price than when it was released in 2014, we believe that Honda should have at least added Vehicle Stability Assist (VSA) as standard in the VX trim, and not just reserved for the VX+. As a matter of fact, we believe any form of electronic stability control should be standard on all cars in the Philippines.
The Honda City remains to be one of the best all rounders in the class, and 3 years since its release, it still remains to give zero-compromise motoring to the people who want to have a well-mannered, well-rounded sedan for a good amount of value. Despite its price increasing over the last 3 years since its release, now priced at P913,000 from P880,000 from when it was released in 2014, the Honda City’s new features, handsome design, and exceptional practicality is enough to justify its price, and the increases seem to be negligible anyway, due to the amount of units it manages to still sell, and since most people buy cars through financing anyway.
Exterior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Design: ★★★★☆
Interior Quality: ★★★★★
Fuel Efficiency: ★★★★☆
Value For Money: ★★★★☆
OVERALL: 4.1 out of 5
Want to find great deals and promos on this 2018 Honda City VX and other Hondas? Head on to Honda Cars Sta. Rosa to check out what is still one of the best subcompact sedans out there, or call 0917-665-5268/(049) 544-0371 to 72